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BrandingWFSU Public Media PBS
Affiliations11.1: PBS (1970–present)
11.2: The Florida Channel
11.3: Create
11.4: PBS Kids
OwnerFlorida State University
First air date
September 20, 1960 (63 years ago) (1960-09-20)
Former channel number(s)
11 (VHF, 1960–2009)
NET (1960–1970)
Call sign meaning
Florida State University
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID21801
ERP937.8 kW
HAAT237 m (778 ft)
Transmitter coordinates30°21′31.7″N 84°36′37.7″W / 30.358806°N 84.610472°W / 30.358806; -84.610472
Public license information
Satellite station
BrandingWFSU Public Media PBS
Affiliations56.1: PBS
56.2: The Florida Channel
56.3: Create
56.4: PBS Kids
OwnerFlorida State University
see WFSU-TV infobox
First air date
July 22, 1988 (35 years ago) (1988-07-22)
Former channel number(s)
56 (UHF, 1988–2009)
38 (UHF, 2003–2019)
Call sign meaning
WFSU Gulf Coast
Technical information[2]
Facility ID6093
ERP110 kW
HAAT151.7 m (498 ft)
Transmitter coordinates30°22′3″N 85°55′28″W / 30.36750°N 85.92444°W / 30.36750; -85.92444 (WFSG)
Public license information

WFSU-TV (channel 11) is a PBS member television station in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is owned by Florida State University alongside NPR members WFSU-FM (88.9) and WFSQ (91.5 FM). The three stations share studios at the Public Broadcast Center on the Florida State campus; WFSU-TV's transmitter is located near Bloxham, Florida.

WFSG (channel 56) in Panama City operates as a full-time satellite of WFSU-TV; this station's transmitter is located near Ebro. WFSG covers areas of northwest Florida that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from WFSU-TV, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. WFSG is a straight simulcast of WFSU-TV; on-air references to WFSG are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during programming. Aside from the transmitter, WFSG does not maintain any physical presence locally in Panama City. Although Panama City is in the Central Time Zone, all schedules are listed in Eastern Time.


WFSU-TV went on the air for the first time on September 20, 1960 on channel 11. The FCC had allocated only one VHF channel (channels 2-13) to the Tallahassee marketplace.[3] After the Tallahassee market was expanded to include a large portion of southwest Georgia, Florida State persuaded the FCC to make channel 11 a noncommercial license. Channels 14-69 in the UHF spectrum were available, but were not as easily accessible to television viewers, and were not seen as viable at the time.[3][4] While this move assured north-central Florida and southwest Georgia of PBS service, it also meant that Tallahassee would have a long wait for full service from all three major commercial networks, since the VHF channel was already allocated, and the available UHF channels were seen as undesirable. A commercial station wouldn't sign on in the Tallahassee market until WECA-TV (now WTXL-TV) opened in 1976.

WFSG signed on July 22, 1988, replacing a low-powered translator on channel 22 that had served Panama City since the late 1970s.

Today in the Legislature[edit]

In 1973, "Florida Public Broadcasting" (FPB), a joint venture between WFSU-TV and WJCT in Jacksonville, and under the aegis of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service, began program coverage of the Florida Legislature, which was transmitted to and broadcast by the eight affiliated PBS television stations in Florida, from a mobile facility located on the grounds of the State Capitol. The program was called Today in the Legislature, and was the first of its kind in the United States, preceding legislative programs in other states, and U.S. Congressional coverage by C-SPAN.[5]

Reaction to the first year of the program was positive.[6][7] The state legislature dedicated funds to expand the program, managed exclusively by WJCT.[8] Production facilities migrated into the (old) Capitol building, with engineering and studio facilities constructed on the third floor. The first broadcast from the new facility was on April 2, 1974. Today in the Legislature expanded into an hour-long weekday program during the legislative session, with a one-hour Spanish language summary, Hoy en la Legislatura produced on Fridays as well as a sign language program. It was hosted by veteran broadcaster Jim Lewis, with additional commentary by Elizabeth "Bib" Willis.[9] Research, engineering, and production crews were composed chiefly of recent graduates from the Florida State University Department of Communications (now the Florida State University College of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts), nearly all under the age of 25, including producer Elliott C. Mitchell and director John P. Leu, as well as future Georgia legislator Chesley V. Morton, who worked as a still photographer and camera operator for the program.[10][11][12] Today in the Legislature was described as a "unique blend of television of record and more conventional news coverage."[5][13] A research study concluded that the program generated more positive attitudes about the legislature and increased political knowledge in adolescents who viewed the broadcast, although only 12% found the programming to be "interesting".[14]

Technical information[edit]


The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[15][16]
1080i 16:9 WFSU-HD
Main programming / PBS
480i 4:3 WFSU-FL
The Florida Channel
Create Create
KIDS360 PBS Kids

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WFSU-TV and WFSG shut down their analog signals on February 17, 2009, the original target date on which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[17]

  • WFSU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 11.
  • WFSG shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 56; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 38. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 56, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Other services[edit]

WFSU-TV operates a statewide public affairs network, The Florida Channel, that covers the state legislature, a local version of C-SPAN. This network is seen on selected cable TV systems and government-access television (GATV) channels throughout the state of Florida.


WFSU-TV also operated "4FSU", which carried simulcasts of The Florida Channel and programming related to the university community, including a half-hour weather-focused program produced by students; it also provided a training ground for students studying for careers in the broadcasting field.

The channel began on Comcast cable channel 47 in 1995, then as "FSU6" on channel 6 in 2000 before finally settling down on channel 4 as "4FSU" in 2002. After 28 years in operation, WFSU shut down the channel on March 31st, 2023. [18]


In June 2011, it was revealed that WFSU-TV will receive $2.8 million in funding for various services related to Florida government, including The Florida Channel. This is despite the $4.8 million of funding to other public radio and television stations vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in May 2011.[19]


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WFSU-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WFSG". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ a b "Television Broadcast Frequencies". Over-the-Air Digital TV. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "The History of UHF TV". History's Dumpster. March 15, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b LeRoy, David J. (1974). ""Today in the Legislature" The Florida Story". Journal of Communication. 24: 92–98. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1974.tb00395.x.
  6. ^ Reaction and Evaluation of "Today in the Legislature" by Legislators, Capital Press and the Public [microform] / David J. LeRoy and C. Edward Wotring. National Library of Australia. 1974. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  7. ^ American Bar Association (December 1974). "ABA Journal". American Bar Association Journal. American Bar Association: 1585. ISSN 0747-0088.
  8. ^ Public affairs become more and more public, Broadcasting Magazine, August 18, 1974.
  9. ^ Network Meets in Sarasota, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 23, 1984.
  10. ^ "(Obituary) John Patrick Leu". Tallahassee Democrat. February 18, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "(Obituary) Elliott C. Mitchell III". The Tennessean. February 2, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "House Resolution 1285" (PDF). Georgia House of Representatives. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Today in the Legislature Keeps Viewers Informed of Happenings in Tallahassee". March 31, 1974. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Charles K. Atkin; Bradley S. Greenberg (March 1974). Public Television and Political Socialization; A Field Experiment on the Impact of a Public Television Series on the Political Knowledge, Attitudes and Communication Behaviors of Adolescents. ERIC. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  15. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WFSU-TV
  16. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WFSG
  17. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  18. ^ 4FSU WFSU Public Media; Retrieved September 5, 2023.
  19. ^ "St. Petersburg Times: "Gov. Rick Scott's veto of public TV and radio funds spares capital's WFSU", June 6, 2011". Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011.

External links[edit]